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3 common FMLA mistakes … and how to avoid them

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in Firing,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave annually for the birth or adoption of a child, their own "serious illness," or to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious illness.

But while the law has been on the books for more than 10 years, court rulings continue to fine-tune its requirements for employers.

Here are three common mistakes employers make (based on recent important rulings) and strategies to avoid liability:

Mistake 1: Failing to understand employees' full FMLA rights. The law allows eligible employees to take FMLA leave to care for family members with serious conditions. Courts have recently interpreted the term "care for" to include "psychological comfort and reassurance."

The case: Truck driver Joseph Scamihorn took FMLA leave to help his father recover from depression. Scamihorn performed household chores,...(register to read more)

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